Spirit Airlines Complaint - Flight Delay
RHODE ISLAND -- On January 10, 2006, my wife and I were scheduled to fly out of Montego Bay Jamaica at approximately 3:40 pm on flight 400 and land in Ft Lauderdale Florida by 5:20 pm. We did not leave Montego Bay Airport until 4:20 pm. This was not because of any mechanical or weather delays; it was because we were waiting around for last minute people boarding the plane. The steward on the plane informed all passengers that if they had connecting flights with Spirit, Spirit would hold the plane. Our flight to Providence was at approximately 6:50 pm on flight 214.
When we finally arrived in Florida at approximately 6:06 pm, we still had to go through immigration and reclaim our luggage, so they could be resubmitted back to Spirit. While standing in line at immigration our flight crew went by us and one of the gentlemen, a supervisor named Victor said Spirit was aware of the delay and would be holding all connecting flights. At approximately 7:10 pm, we were finished with immigration and resubmitting our luggage back to Spirit. However, our plane did not wait and took off for Providence RI at approximately 7:01 pm.
My wife and I went to the Spirit ticket counter and informed the representative what had occurred. A female staff member told us that Spirit would fly us out the next day. I informed her that we needed to fly out tonight because both my wife and I had to be at work the next day. I then asked the female representative if Spirit could accommodate us with another airline. The female said no, “Spirit does not work with any other airline”. I then asked to speak to the night supervisor. After an hour, a gentleman named John came out to the ticket counter. I informed John of our situation and John stated there was nothing he could do. My wife Michelle said to John that she was a nurse and could lose her job if she was not at work. John’s comment was “they need nurses, they won’t fire you”. I informed John that I also needed to be at my job for the next day. John again stated there was nothing he could do. However, John stated he would make out a report to customer service for future compensation for us. After standing at the ticket counter for almost 2 hours my wife and I agreed to stay overnight at a nearby hotel. However, getting our luggage back became another problem. We knew that our luggage did dot make it on the plane because the plane had already left prior to bringing our luggage to the drop off area. When I explained our situation to the woman at baggage, she was unconcerned and reluctant to look for them. She gave me several different reasons why we could not have our luggage back. However, a young man working for the airport was walking by and overheard our conversation with the woman. He pulled me aside and asked what our names were and what our luggage looked like. About 35 minutes went by and this young guy had our luggage in hand. The young man stated our luggage was in a place it should not have been and that is why it took him so long to locate it. This young man was the most helpful individual out of anyone in that airport and I was very thankful for his help.
On January 11, 2006 at approximately 12:00 pm, we arrived back at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport. While getting our boarding passes, I noticed a gentleman representing Spirit Airlines off in an area away from the ticket counter. I decided to speak with this gentleman about our situation from the previous night. The gentleman, Jake Filene, Director of planning and administration gave his full attention to me. I explained to Mr. Filene what had occurred at the Montego Bay Airport and how it affected connecting flights in Ft Lauderdale. I informed Mr. Filene that there was a communication problem within Spirit Airlines and that this situation could have been avoided if the staff refused excessive late passengers to board the plane in Montego Bay. I explained to Mr. Filene while I sat sitting in my seat on the plane for over 40 minuets in Montego Bay, I observed passengers straggling in one by one on the plane with their duty free liquor box from the airport. This would explain why people were boarding late, and if they had time to purchase alcohol they had time to board the plane on time. Mr. Filene understood our concerns and advised me to type a letter to customer service and to say that we spoke with him about this matter and if he was contacted by someone at Spirit he would reiterate our conversation.
At approximately 6:50 pm, all passengers were supposed to have boarded flight 214 for Providence. However, this flight was delayed for about an hour due to late connecting flights. I believe this was due to me speaking with Mr. Filene and Mr. Filine following up on the problem. Spirit obviously realized there was a problem with connecting flights and needed to correct it. I felt a little bitter from the night before. However, I am glad no one else had to go through what my wife and I did.
I feel that Spirit field employees need more customer service and public relation training. I believe the night supervisor John was wrong for his comment to my wife and it was unnecessary getting the run around by baggage personnel. I am a police officer in my state and I treat offenders better than some of your employees treated us. My wife and I each lost a day at work, due to Spirit Airlines. I also incurred unnecessary overages at restaurants because the vouchers did not cover two basic meals.